Our Instructors

Our Instructors

 

JAZZ EDUCATION
 
Robert Waggoner
 
Robert Waggoner has been involved in the music education field since 1964, at all levels, including elementary through university. Fomerly, the Director of bands at Parkway West H.S. and the Monday Night Jazz Club at Meramec-St. Louis Community College, Mr. Waggoner is currently the director of Genesis Jazz Project Big Band. He also teaches Jazz Education for Webster University and the Jazz Lab Ensemble at the Community Music School.
 
A professional bassist, Robert has performed in jazz trios to symphonic orchestras, including playing at Six Flags/St. Louis where he also served as conductor of the Palace Show for 4 years. He has also been involved as a staff member of the Jim Widner Jazz Camps and the SLUH Middle School Jazz Camps. Through out the Midwest, Robert maintains a busy schedule as a clinician, adjudicator and conductor in the Jazz Education area.
 
He has received the following awards: St. Louis Suburban Music Educators Certificate of Merit(1990-91), St. Louis Suburban Music Educators Hall of Fame(1995-96), NBA Outstanding Jazz Educator Award(2003), and the MOIAJE Jess Cole Award(2004) for Outstanding Contributions to Jazz Education.
 
Mr. Waggoner attended the University of North Texas, graduated from St. Louis Institute of Music and continued with graduate work at Sothern Illinios University at Edwardsville.
 
He is also the President/Owner of St. Ann Music LLC, a business that he operates with his wife, Ann.
 
 
 
CLASSICAL EDUCATION
 
 
Kathy Ryan
(voice, piano, theory & composition)
 

BMEd., University of Missouri St. Louis, 2000.  Kathy studied piano with Robert Ray and Evelyn Mitchell and has maintained a private piano studio since 1987. Since 2000, she has taught vocal music in various public and private institutions, in all grade levels.  In addition to piano, she also teaches voice and composition in her individual classes.  Kathy has studied with international composers such as Dr. Claude Baker and Dr. Barbara Harbach. Miss Ryan's main focus is introducing students to the world of music through experience, composition and performance.

 
 
Karlyn Alderson (voice & piano)
 
Karlyn studied music at University of Missouri(KC) and Brigham Young University. With experience in performing groups and as a composer/arranger of original works, Karlyn is a successful piano and vocal instructor. She continues her students development through her choirs and audition workshops to prepare them to study on a collegiate level.
 
 
 
Jacob Stergos (piano, bass)
 
 
 
Tim DeFries (piano and organ)
 
Tim DeFries is a 6th generation student of Beethoven, and his teaching lineage includes Rachmaninoff and Czerny. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance from Louisiana College, he studied with Ruth Slenczynska at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, and graduated with a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance. During this time, Tim was organist at Nameoki Presbyterian Church, Granite City, Illinois.
Tim has been a piano instructor at the Suburban School of Music in Webster Groves, MO, Lindenwood University, St. Louis Community College - Meramec, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and SIU (where he was a part of the Childhood Piano Preparatory Department and the Adult Education Department). 
 
In 2010, Tim received a business administration degree from St. Louis Community College.
For more than 27 years, Tim has served as Organmaster at First Church of Christ, Valley Park, Missouri.
 
 
 
 
Beth Curtiss (voice)
 
Beth received a BA in music from Bryn Mawr College and an MM in music education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is currently pursuing teacher certification in K-12 vocal music at the University of  Missouri-St. Louis. Beth is an accomplished choral musician, with 14+ years of experience in a wide variety of ensembles. In addition, she has spent the past five years serving as a teacher or assistant teacher to students aged 5 and up in subjects as diverse as vocal music, theater, computers, and K-8 academics. Currently, Beth sings soprano in the UMSL University Singers and in her church choir, and is also an ensemble assistant at the St. Louis Children's Choirs.
 
 
 
DRUMS & PERCUSSION
 
 
Justin Guldalian
 
Justin studied music at Drake University earning degrees in music performance and music business. While there he performed as principal percussionist for the wind symphony, the symphony orchestra, and the marching band. 
Since then, Justin has performed and recorded with several bands, including Of Time And Tide, Organ Of Corti, and The Matt Kovis Group. He also performs weekly with the St. Louis Family Church and St. John Ellisville worship bands.
Justin has been teaching at the Midwest Music Conservatory since its opening in 2008, and continues to be passionate about sharing his musical knowledge and skill base with any willing listener.
 
 
 
GUITAR & BASS
 
 
 Jordan Gonzalez
 
Jordan Gonzalez came from a musical family. His parents impressed upon him a love for music at a very early age. He has been playing guitar for eight years and has enjoyed every second of it. Jordan recently graduated Suma Cum Laude from Webster University with a degree in Business Administration along with a minor in music. He has participated in jazz combos as well as the Lafayette High School Jazz Band during his years of attending the school.
Jordan is a worship leader at Wildwood Christian Church. He was the lead guitarist and a vocalist in the youth band for several years and currently is the same for the Praise Band. He has been teaching guitar at the Conservatory since 2011 and considers each lesson that he teaches as an opportunity to become a better musician and teacher.
 
 
 
 
VIOLIN & VIOLA
 
 
Ingrid Popp
 
Ingrid Popp recently completed her Master of Music degree in viola performance and a Post-baccalaureate certificate in music education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2009 she graduated summa cum laude with her B.M. degree in viola performance from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where she studied viola with Joanna Mendoza and Robert Meyer, and chamber music with the Arianna String Quartet. 
 
She has over ten years of experience as a violin and viola instructor and has taught students from age 6 to adult. Her students have frequently been chosen for their school honor groups as well as district/all-state orchestras and local youth and community orchestras. She is also a member of both the Suzuki Association of the America’s (SAA) and the American String teachers Association (ASTA). 
 
Ingrid is also an active performer and has been a member of the Western Piedmont Symphony of North Carolina, a guest soloist with the Town and Country Symphony, and has been an active freelance performer in both Greensboro, NC and the St. Louis area. For the last four summers she has been employed as a resident advisor for the High School division of the Brevard Music Center where she performs with the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, and the Brevard Sinfonia.
 
 
CELLO
 
 
Alexander Schutt
 
Born and raised in St. Louis, Alexander began playing the cello in his school's music program at the age of 12. He received his bachelor of music degree from UM-St. Louis, where he studied with Kurt Baldwin and the Arianna String Quartet. Afterwards, he continued his study of the cello at Texas Tech University under the tutelage of Jeffrey Lastrapes. While at Tech he was Mr. Lastrapes' teaching assistant, a member of the graduate string quartet, and the coordinator for the outreach and chamber music programs.
 
Alexander was a member of the Lubbock Symphony and the Midland-Odessa Symphony & Chorale. Currently, he is a freelance musician based in the St. Louis area as well as the Principal Cellist for the Town and Country Symphony. Alexander performs on a Robert Clemens cello dated 2009.